Archive for the ‘Human Resources Management’ Category

Innovate or Stagnate: Living your Passion

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

The following post is from Peter Metzner. Through seminars and consulting, Peter helps leaders, teams and organizations better engage and align staff to business drivers and their overall mission. He is sharing his presentation Innovate or Stagnate: Leadership Skills for Today at the 2015 HR Management Conference on March 4 and March 5 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh.

Business PeopleI once heard at a Symposium that:  “Genius is focused passion”.

To grow, to develop and become the best at your “art” is a meaningful calling or vocation.  Joseph Campbell writes: “Art is the making of things well.  The aim of Art is the perfection of the object”.

He also writes: “if you follow your bliss, you will always have your bliss money or not. If you follow money you may lose it and you will have nothing” (J. Campbell Reflections on the Art of Living” p. 39)

Ideally, to successfully innovate; we need to feel passionate about and love what we do. We also need to feel our work – our “art” is beneficial to others.    That is the rocket fuel that can propel us to new heights.

What keeps teams or individuals from performing optimally?

Sadly only 30 percent of employees in America feel engaged at work, according to a 2013 report by Gallup.  For many, work is a depleting, dispiriting experience, and in many ways, it’s getting worse.  Demand for our time is increasingly exceeding our capacity — draining us of the energy we need to bring our skill and talent fully to life. “Increased competitiveness and a leaner, post-recession work force add to the pressures. The rise of digital technology is perhaps the biggest influence, exposing us to an unprecedented flood of information and requests that we feel compelled to read and respond to at all hours of the day and night”.   (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/opinion/sunday/why-you-hate-work.)

To maintain engagement it is important to have enough rest and renewal to be productive. Over- work, stress and a lack of capacity leads to burnout.  Interpersonal conflict, unaware leadership and not feeling valued or appreciated add to the malaise that cause disengagement, lack of commitment and turnover.

When individuals and teams feel connected to a shared vision and mission that is inspiring and larger than themselves, positive energy and action is released. When relationships are trusting and safe enough to give and receive feedback and engage in constructive conflict; everyone becomes “smarter” than anyone one.  With trust, along with collaborative working relationships; individuals and teams have a greater sense of autonomy, input and buy in to their activities.  Harvard psychologist Kurt Lewin PhD, writes:  “When we are in a supportive environment we are much better equipped to deal with the complexities of our working lives”

As times change; technology advances and new applications and markets will emerge. Yet we need to always keep the timeless qualities that made us successful in the first place. Excitement, energy, common purpose and dedication come from feeling that we are doing what we do best, being challenged to be better in the service of something larger than ourselves.  A real and often forgotten challenge to keeping engagement and passion alive is not only to encourage but to ensure that the work-life balance of staff is maintained.

“When we are completely caught up in something, you become oblivious to the things around you, or to the passage of time.  It is this absorption in what you are doing that frees your unconscious and releases your creative imaginations”.   Rollo May, The Courage to Create

This is the place where synchronicities and “magic” happen.

In addition to innovation through engagement, the 2015 HR Management Conference will feature presentations on making technology choices, insights on the future of work, strengthening organizational performance and more. Visit www.capital.org/hrconf to view the complete agenda and read more about conference speakers. Register today!

 

Using Video Job Descriptions as a Recruiting Tool

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Advice and Resolution team member Renee’ Watkins shares how a Video Job Description can add a personal touch to your company’s next job opening.

Renee' Watkins, HR Advisor

Renee’ Watkins, HR Advisor

Video Job Descriptions (VJDs) are nothing more than a short video clip used to describe a specific opening to a potential applicant. These are not meant to replace the typical text narrative of the job description and desired qualifications. Instead, they are meant to enhance and present a more personal viewpoint of a job opening.

Text narratives are often developed using the actual responsibilities and duties of the position, coupled with the required and preferred experience and education levels, with some help and guidance from both Human Resources and the hiring manager. Today’s job applicant lives in a world of Facetime, Skype, YouTube and other communications involving face-to-face contact across a website or wireless network. To some, the written word has become boring and uninteresting.

A personal touch can be a great way to capture the attention of a potential job seeker. That can be accomplished by having an existing team member describe their experience with the company or by having the manager describe the position and their management style in a VJD. This type of medium establishes a personal rapport with the candidate as if the manager or employee were speaking directly to the candidate. It also makes an impression that your organization is progressive when it comes to technology and social media.

The many advantages of using VJDs to enhance your job descriptions include:

  • Message presented by someone working with or in this role on a daily basis
  • Projects energy and excitement about the position not present in the written word
  • Immediately establishes a connection between the applicant and the team
  • Candidates will typically watch a video but may only skim a narrative
  • Viewable and sharable on any mobile platform – extends reach to more people
  • Facility video tours can generate excitement and interest
  • Simple and inexpensive to create – does not require professionals
  • Consider enhancing your next few job opening announcements by creating a VJD as a link from the job description on your website career page and social media profiles.

Need some help with recruiting talent for your company? Please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746. The team is available 24 hours each day!

Advice for Handling Love at Work

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

The following post is by Bruce Clarke, CAI’s CEO and President. The article originally appeared in Bruce’s News and Observer Column, The View from HR.

love at workCupid may be especially busy on Valentine’s Day, but the icon of love is unstoppable year-round in the workplace.

Statistics show that one-third of employees will date someone at work and up to 20 percent will find their spouse or partner at work.

Managers should recognize that people will fall in like or love at work, and there is no law or best practice requiring you to prevent or end these relationships (good luck with that, anyway).

Most employers understand this dynamic, but know the emotions involved can cause real workplace problems if mishandled.

Events are hard to predict. Office romance is known as a disproportionate cause of workplace violence.

When one or both romantics are married to other people who may also work for the same company, you have a potentially explosive situation.

Perceptions of favoritism may cause problems, too. Employee morale is easily jeopardized, especially if one of the lovebirds is a manager with the power to promote and give raises to his or her favorite Valentine.

What does your company policy say about consensual workplace romance? You need to stay in compliance or get guidance.

Less than 15 percent of policies prohibit workplace romances, but all employers want to ensure there is no harassment or pressure.

Stay focused on your policy and on the workplace impact of behaviors. Private conversations with the individuals involved to clear the air and state the company’s position without preaching can be difficult but very important.

Put the burden on the employees to prevent bad situations. Carefully consider with HR any issue around the transfer or termination of one or the other.

Romantic employees: Be the one to deliver the news (and not become the subject of water cooler talk or a security camera tape). People will know before you think they know, and they love to gossip. Be the one with a proactive plan to give your managers, focused on policy and preventing complications.

Granted, your situation may be different from others’. But think about how management and co-workers are likely to react, not just how you want them to react.

Photo Source: Lori Branham

The Role of Minority Coaching in Your Succession Planning Strategy

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

The following post is from Val Boston of Boston and Associates. His professional background spans more than 25 years in business and leadership roles. He is sharing his presentation Diversity and Inclusion: A Business Strategy at the 2015 HR Management Conference on March 4 and March 5 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh.

Diverse business group meetingSuccession Planning addresses your organization’s need to strategically prepare for the healthy transition of leadership. These plans are typically linked to a talent management strategy of effective recruiting, developing, retaining and preparing potential leaders for advancement. Considering the rapidly changing demographics in the workplace, special consideration should be paid to the Historically Underrepresented Groups (HUGs) in your talent pool.

Characteristics and Challenges of Successful Coaching Interventions

Executive coaching (or employee coaching or leadership coaching) is certainly not a new concept. Effective coaching occurs when the coach and the colleague have mutual trust and respect; where communications clear and understood by all parties simultaneously; when the colleague is well on track to achieving their professional goals; and the colleague is “dialed in” into the controllable behaviors that generate success.

Most challenges arise with coaching interventions  because the market changes are more rapid and unpredictable than ever before; dramatic events may compromise the integrity of the coaching intervention; the continued “buy-in” by the colleague may become out-of-sync and no one understands why; and when basic objectives are not being met.

Why Minority Executive Coaching? Scenario:  Jordan is a talented employee who is from a HUG. He has outstanding educational credentials and has an excellent employee track record to date. He is assigned an internal mentor or coach as part of his professional development who is not from his HUG. Though the mentor/coach can provide guidance and direction, the personal relationship and trust needed may not develop that would give Jordan all the “tools” he needs for further growth in the organization. The coach may not be able to provide him with the “unwritten rules” or truly and deeply be able to relate to Jordan at all levels.

Minority coaching targets HUG employees and can provide the “missing ingredient”, and can many times provide more relevancy. Since many organizations view coaching as an integral component of talent management and development strategies, this focus can enhance existing internal mentorship and coaching programs. Organizations can provide this resource to identified or self-selected colleagues as part of their development plans. Talent that can be developed to assume more responsibilities over time is a win-win, can increase retention rates of high potentials, while developing talent pools to fill key roles.

In addition to diversity, the 2015 HR Management Conference will feature presentations on making technology choices, insights on the future of work, strengthening organizational performance and more. Visit www.capital.org/hrconf to view the complete agenda and read more about conference speakers. Register today!

Photo Source: Ruth Sanderson

Medical Care is not a Priority to Millennials

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

millennials workMillennials put a lower priority on medical care than other generations according to a new analysis from Aon Hewitt. However, this generation is also more likely to want their employers to play a strong role in supporting their overall health and wellbeing. The data comes from the 2014 Consumer Health Mindset report from Aon Hewitt, the National Business Group on Health, and the Futures Company. Participants included 2,700 U.S. employees and their dependents. The joint survey analyzed the health and wellness perspectives, behaviors and attitudes of employees from different generations.

The survey showed that Millennials are the least likely of the generations to participate in activities focused on prevention and maintaining or improving physical health. Some specifics of that data included 54 percent of them had a physical in the last 12 months, compared to 60 percent of Generation X and 73 percent of Baby Boomers. Additionally, only 39 percent say preventive care is one of the most important things to do to stay healthy in comparison to 49 percent of Generation X and 69 percent of Baby Boomers.

With only 21 percent participating, this group is also not as likely to participate in healthy eating/weight management programs, compared to 23 percent of Generation X and 28 percent of Baby Boomers.  However, 63 percent of Millennials are likely to engage in regular exercise, compared to 52 percent of Generation X and 49 percent of Baby Boomers.

“Given their younger age, most Millennials are relatively healthy, so they may not feel a sense of urgency to go to the doctor regularly or eat a well-balanced diet,” said Ray Baumruk, employee research leader at Aon Hewitt. “However, the lack of health prevention and maintenance when they’re young may lead to greater health risks as they get older. Employers should communicate the importance of participating in health related activities now to avoid serious health issues later in life.”

While they do not feel an urgent sense of preventative care, the data shows that Millennials are the most likely to embrace support from employers in their overall health and wellbeing compared to other generations. Fifty-two percent of participants from this generation say “living or working in a healthy environment” influences their personal health, while only 42 percent of Generation X and 35 percent of Baby Boomers feel the same way.

If you want to help your Millennials reach their fitness and overall health goals, while also making them aware of the importance of prevention and improving their health, Aon Hewitt experts suggests the following steps for employers:

  • Understand motivation. It’s important for employers to understand what motivates and engages this group. Fifty-five percent of Millennials report their motivation is “to look good,” and not as much to “avoid illness.” Employers should modify their strategy and communications to show how poor health can impact an individual’s energy and appearance.
  • Reach your audience correctly. Millennials are significantly more likely to prefer mobile apps, text, or popular social channels, such as Facebook and Twitter to access both general and personal health information. Organizations should also take advantage of apps and mobile-friendly websites to help engage employees in health and wellness campaigns.
  • Easy and convenient is key. Forty percent of Millennials say they are more likely to participate in health and wellness programs if they are “easy or convenient to do.” Employers should remove barriers to helping this generation create good health choices and habits by focusing on programs that meet their work/life balance.
  • Competition for fun. Millennials are the generation most likely to be interested in “friendly competitions.” Employers may want to explore ways they can include competitions to motivate and engage Millennials, such as company-wide well-being or fitness challenges.

For additional tips to help keep your Millennial staff engaged, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: ITU Pictures

Persistence and Success

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

The following post is by Bruce Clarke, CAI’s CEO and President. The article originally appeared in Bruce’s News and Observer Column, The View from HR.

Bruce Clarke, President and CEO

Bruce Clarke, President and CEO

We talk much about education and talent but too little about persistence.

Success as a manager or employee usually has less to do with your degree, your natural talent or even your intelligence. It has less to do with where you were raised and whether you were privileged. It has much more to do with your own personal level of persistence and determination.

Yes, a degree may be necessary for certain roles or licenses, and it never hurts to have every advantage growing up, including involved parents and excellent teachers. However, personal determination means more to your successes and failures than any other factor.

Give me a qualified and determined person over a highly educated person with low “give a hoot” any day.

Each inspirational story you see proves my point. These success stories are about people who overcame a challenge and made something work for them or others. Overcoming obstacles. Pushing further, harder and more often than the average person. Finding ways to go at it in different ways. Saying yes rather than no. Persistence.

Look no further than your own extended family or group of friends for talented people (maybe geniuses) who struggle to make their lives and work function. You also know someone with modest resources who worked hard and long to achieve his or her version of success.

Ask any manager why so many good ideas sit idle. Do you know employees who stop and rest at each hurdle, making a nest and setting up camp until dislodged?

Think of the last team meeting where more time was spent on the lunch menu than on tasks at hand, the reasons things did not happen, and why more time was needed to execute projects rather than enjoy incremental success from dogged determination.

Leonard Mlodinow, the author of “The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives,” helped me see the power of persistence another way. Because so many factors in the workplace and business are uncontrollable, unpredictable and even random, persistence increases the chance that a good idea (or good person) will take hold as conditions change.

Think of it like this: The job openings and available candidates at any point in time are fixed. The lack of a good fit today means nothing about next month, when the candidate pool and job openings have changed. Persist.

Success at work is influenced by many factors. It never hurts to have education, talent and other advantages. Sometimes unfair things happen. But the surest way to take what you have and maximize your effect wherever you are today is to double your level of persistence. Good managers recognize the power of determination and look for it in hiring and promotions.

In 1932, at the depth of the Great Depression, former President Calvin Coolidge said that persistence “has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” It is the one variable entirely within your control. Start with your role in your workplace and enjoy the difference it will make.

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Enhance Your Career

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

fireworksThe beginning of 2015 brings new opportunities, goals and resolutions. Some common New Year’s resolutions people have include losing weight, volunteering, quitting smoking and spending more time with family. While these resolutions are very important, you should also consider making New Year’s resolutions to enhance your career and work life. These 5 New Year’s resolutions have the potential to lead to a happier and healthier career in 2015.

  1. Obtain a positive work/life balance

For a happier and healthier career, you need to be able to balance time at work with the other aspects of your life such as family, hobbies, vacations and other leisurely activities. You should be able to feel accomplished at work while happy with the time spent doing other things. For some this may mean working fewer hours to make time for other things, but for others it may be picking up more hours so the proper amount of time can be devoted to accomplishing tasks and projects.

  1. Learn a new skill

This resolution could enhance your job performance at work as well as your marketability if you are seeking a new job in 2015. Find out what skills are in demand for your profession, and then think about taking a class, attending a workshop or signing up for webinars to enhance your skills. This will help you career not only in 2015, but in years to come.

  1. Expand your Network

There can never be too many people in your professional network. Try expanding your network by attending conferences, joining local professional groups or even community service groups. Do not limit yourself to networking with people only in your profession. Extend your network to other professions to widen your opportunities for 2015.

  1. Be receptive to change

One of the great things about the start of a new year is that it initiates the possibility of change. Consider the benefits that change can bring to your career, workplace, and business. In 2015, changes can be seen with technology, office culture and workplace policies. Be open to changes in policies and have a positive attitude even when co-workers may not. You will be able to adapt to the changes so that your career is not hurt by them.

  1. Make time for new projects

At some point in 2014, you probably had a great idea for a new project or initiative that you then decided to put on the back burner, thinking “I’ll get to it eventually.” Make 2015 your eventually! The new year is a great time to start new projects and generate new ideas and strategies to excel your business and career.

By making any of these New Year’s resolutions, you are setting yourself up to make improvements to your career that could last well beyond 2015. These five resolutions are not the only ways to have a successful 2015, but they are great starting points for a successful year.

For additional tips for creating New Year’s resolutions for your career or workplace, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Survey Reveals Employee Trust and Confidence in Their Leaders is Stronger

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Business PeopleA recent survey from Towers Watson indicates that 55 percent of all U.S. employees said they have trust and confidence in their senior leaders. In 2012 that number was only 49 percent, and two years earlier in 2010, that number was 47 percent. Senior leaders received high scores from survey participants in the following areas: 80 percent agreed that their leaders promoted a positive company image to the outside world and 68 percent agreed that their leaders understand the factors that lead to success.

While the survey shows that employees trust and confidence in their leaders has slowly increased, the number of employees who think senior management provides effective leadership overall has decreased slightly. Additionally, less than half of participants said their leaders inspire employees, understand how their actions impact staff, are open to new ideas, or do a good job developing future leaders.

The survey does provide some positive insights from American employees, but it is also clear that there’s still some work senior leaders must do to ensure their workforce sees them as trustworthy and confident to lead the organization to success. Check out some of our past blogs for some help in improving your company’s efforts:

Building trust in an organization is no easy feat. Time, dedication and care are essential for keeping trust nurtured and sustained. Trust is a fundamental value that all companies should practice because it improves almost every business facet, including retention, morale, communication, customer service and productivity. Check out four ways you can build trust here: http://blog.capital.org/four-ways-to-build-and-sustain-trust-in-your-workplace/.

In the workplace, miscommunication can be blamed for a significant amount of conflict and the tension that it stirs. It would be unrealistic to think all miscommunication could be prevented, but if we understood its causes, the percentage could likely be decreased. Review the five common causes here: http://blog.capital.org/five-common-causes-of-miscommunication-in-the-workplace-and-how-to-avoid-them/.

Providing employees with education that will be beneficial to their careers is a cost-effective way to increase job satisfaction at your workplace. Keep your employees engaged and confident in your ability to help them get to where they need to be in their careers. Here are some great ways to provide professional development and training: http://blog.capital.org/use-training-and-professional-development-to-encourage-employee-engagement/.

For additional help with improving trust and positive employer-employee relationships at your organization, please call our Advice and Resolution team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

 

3 Tips for Leading a Multigenerational Workplace

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

multi generationYour workplace might be comprised of employees and managers from four different generations. The age differences between your youngest employees and most experienced employees could be anywhere from one to 50 years.

The workforce now has the Silent Generation (born before 1946), the Baby Boomer Generation (born 1946-1964), Generation X (born 1965-1980), and Generation Y or the Millennial Generation (born 1981-2000). Each generation may come with its own approaches and ideals, but they all have assets to bring to the table. Employees of all generations need to be led in a way that makes an organization cohesive and united.

It takes time to figure out how to approach your multigenerational workplace, while maintaining the company culture and environment. Here are three tips to consider when leading your multigenerational workplace:

Be flexible and open to new ideas

If you have employees born in a different generation than you, it is likely that they can have different ideas that might fit with their generation. Differences are not a bad thing. They can lead to ideas and approaches that you might not have thought of or considered. Be open to ideas that challenge your way of thinking and lead to an innovative approach.

Initiate open communication about needs

Employees across multiple generations might possess a variety of workplace needs or preferences. You may prefer face-to-face communication or a personal note. However, an employee in a different generation might prefer email or a text message.

Employees may also need different types of motivation. While Generation X tends to be motivated by results, Generation Y can be associated with being motivated by achievements. You will have to be open to asking questions and figuring out how employees are motivated.

Eliminate generational stereotypes

You as a manager are expected to have open communication with your employees, yet you should also encourage open discussion amongst employees. Encourage people to discuss their differences, whether they be strengths or weaknesses. This can help to eliminate any generational stereotypes. Open communication could lead to the discovery of a Silent Generation employee’s social media skills.

A multigenerational workplace is one that has a variety of approaches, ideas, and skills that can all be used to strengthen an organization. Instead of taking a general approach to leading all of your employees, figure out how to use their variety of skills most effectively.

For additional tips for managing a multigenerational workplace, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: US Department of Labor

3 Tips for Managing Stress Around the Holidays

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

ThanksgivingThe holiday season can be a wonderful time of year. It is a season of spending time with family and friends, celebrating the year’s successes, and ringing in the new year. Yet this time can also cause stress at work because it is notorious for being busy, and you find yourself having five to-do lists that never seem to get completed. As the year is coming to a close, you may wonder where the year went and how you are going to manage to meet your annual goals while preparing for the holidays. While being busy can be overwhelming, there are ways to ease your stress and manage work so that you can enjoy the season!

By following these three tips, you can start to say goodbye to stress for the holidays!

1. Make to-do lists

This may be an obvious concept that you could already be doing, but do you make to-do lists that sit around and inevitably become longer? To-do lists can be very helpful if they are specific and have an end. You may be thinking that you have an endless amount of things to do, but try to make to-do lists for different areas of your life. At work, categorize your to-do lists and make sure that they contain specific tasks that will be completed. It is also helpful to add completion dates to your list, so there’s a definite end in sight.

 

2. Prioritize your tasks

Now that you have your to-do list(s), you can now start prioritizing all of the tasks you need to do. It can be helpful to prioritize tasks by relevance if there are certain things that need to be done before others, or you can prioritize by desire. Putting the less desired tasks first gets them out of the way, so that you can make room for more enjoyable tasks that leave you feeling more motivated. By prioritizing your work, you then have a direction that you are going in to reach your goal.

 

3. Stop multitasking

Multitasking may seem helpful to do around the holidays because it allows you to get a lot done at once, but the fact is, we were not designed to multitask. It seems like a lot of things are getting done faster, but it in actuality, with your focus divided so much, you start to work at a slower pace and your quality of work could get diminished. You can only stretch yourself so thin before things start to get chaotic and stressful. Focus on one thing at a time so you can produce your best quality of work.

 

The holidays only happen once a year so make the most of them! Relax and enjoy yourself by following these three steps. By reducing the stress in your life, you make room for joy!

For more information on managing stress at work, call a member of our Advice and Resolution team today at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746. The team is now available 24 hours each day throughout the week! Please give us a call!

 

Photo Source: Satya Murthy